Archives for posts with tag: recycle

Love is in the air on this Valentine’s Day, but Los Angeles-based artists DJ Neff and Paul Ramirez promote a different kind of love. Started in 2011, this collaboration has blossomed into a full-fledged non-profit organization, CANLOVE, whose mission is to upcycle otherwise discarded or abandoned spray paint cans. Over the years, they have saved (by hand!) some 15,000+ spray paint cans from the landfill. And in the process created some beautiful, innovative and intriguing artwork. Armed with “spray bouquets”, blooming flower creations and heart-shaped works, CANLOVE can suit all your Valentine’s Day needs (visit their Flower Shop here). Not only do we love their work on a purely artistic level, but the fact that this work also has a purpose really makes our hearts pound.



On this Earth Day, we thought it appropriate to feature work that promotes that trendy buzz word: upcycling. In other words, reusing objects that would otherwise be discarded in such a way as to create something of higher quality or value than the original. In this case, it’s the inventive work of UK photographer Dan Tobin Smith. For his project entitled The First Law of Kipple, Smith basically collected a very wide array of rubbish, then painstakingly chromatically arranged it with such attention, that he achieved pleasing gradients from color to color (no Photoshop filters here, folks). And we’re not talking a handful of objects, but thousands upon thousands. What’s this peculiar word “kipple”, you ask? It’s actually a fictional word that was coined by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick in his 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (the film adaptation was Blade Runner), and is used to describe useless, pointless stuff that humans accumulate. It’s sort of odd even saying it, but Smith’s creative display of such junk is quite beautiful and thought-provoking. This project certainly appeals to our own nerdy desire for order and color harmony.

More chromatic-centric posts here and here and here.

Via and Instagram

Smith-01 Smith-02 Smith-03 Smith-04 Smith-05 Smith-06 Smith-07 Smith-08 Smith-09 Smith-10 Smith-11 Smith-12

Serial projects, that is, ones that are repeated at daily intervals for a set period of time, are really an exemplification of self discipline and ferocious creativity. One such example is a project called 100 Hoopties by Detroit-bred, Los Angeles-based designer and cyclist Jenny Beatty. While completing a masters program at SVA in NYC, Beatty spent one hundred consecutive days immersed in her two loves: design and cycling. Beatty exercised her stellar design skills and unending creativity while reimagining iconic pieces of artwork using only scrapped bicycle parts. In her own words, “The idea came about very serendipitously. I was living above a bike shop that was going out of business, and would walk past coming home every night to a sidewalk filled with left over “junk”. One day I came across a pretty much new set of mustache handlebars with butchers basket and snapped the gem up for future use. The bars/basket sat on my landing for the next 5 months – taunting me to do something with them. When the time came to submit our ideas for 100 days – I tried to think of something that would summarize my life of cyclist and graphic designer. As I was writing out my thoughts, I kept trying to find ways to use this basket and handlebars but it wasn’t until I started thinking about taking it apart that the magic happened.” Magical, indeed. Here are a few of our favorites.

More serial projects here and here and here.


Beatty-01 Beatty-02 Beatty-03 Beatty-04 Beatty-05 Beatty-06 Beatty-07 Beatty-08 Beatty-09 Beatty-10 Beatty-11 Beatty-12 Beatty-13

In keeping with our (hopefully) weeklong theme of Create Upstate 2015 (other posts here and here), we turn the spotlight on fellow Rochester-based designer (and educator/writer) Mitch Goldstein. Those behind the planning of Create Upstate clearly made a deliberate decision to have Goldstein kick off the main event. Goldstein is the perfect blend of adept designer and engaging speaker, and his talk about The Habit of Making got us charged up right out of the box. It almost felt like church for designers, and Goldstein was giving a homily. In essence, Goldstein discussed his habit of making for the sake of making, and how it has made him a better designer. This daily 30-minute creative exercise, which he and his wife Anne Jordan call “inside walking”, has given way to some pretty impressive work (below and here). Goldstein stressed the importance of letting go, and not worrying about making something “good” or even “finished”, but just focus on the making part. We are not really doing Goldstein’s sermon any justice here, just know that this is sage advice that we hope to get into the habit of following. Be sure to scroll down for products from Goldstein’s “walks”, and a sampling of his superb client work, some of which originated directly from said walks.

Via and Tumblr

Goldstein-01 Goldstein-02 Goldstein-03 Goldstein-04 Goldstein-05 Goldstein-06 Goldstein-07 Goldstein-08 Goldstein-09 Goldstein-10 Goldstein-11 Goldstein-12 Goldstein-13 Goldstein-14 Goldstein-15 Goldstein-16 Goldstein-17 Goldstein-18 Goldstein-19 Goldstein-20 Goldstein-21

Trash versus treasure is all relative, as everyone pretty much knows by now. Rhode Island-based artist Tom Deininger takes the old adage to heart through his remarkable collage work. From idealistic landscapes (one of which is inspired by Impressionist master Monet), to detailed portraiture, to denim seascapes, to large-scale commissions, Deininger truly transforms found, often discarded, objects into things of beauty and awe. We imagine his workspace to look like The Island of Misfit Toys. It takes true skill, an acute sense of space and color, to compose these stunning pieces. To say that Deininger is an accomplished collage artist is an understatement. Incredible work.

More killer collage work here, here and here.



Deininger-01 Deininger-02 Deininger-03

Deininger-04 Deininger-05 Deininger-06 Deininger-07 Deininger-08


Deininger-09 Deininger-10 Deininger-11 Deininger-12


Deininger-13 Deininger-14 Deininger-15 Deininger-16 Deininger-17 Deininger-18 Deininger-19 Deininger-20 Deininger-21 Deininger-22 Deininger-23 Deininger-24

The old adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is taken to the hilt by Portuguese street artist Artur Bordalo (aka Bordalo II). Bordalo is a master of mixed media, and his work not only repurposes/recycles “garbage”, but also transforms urban landscapes in really intriguing ways. Bordalo sees the world through a different lens, and uses his bare hands to help us see what he sees through figurative painting. Bordalo combs the streets of Lisbon for discarded items, turning them into large scale thought-provoking compositions. In his own words, his artwork “is not only a way to recycle, but also a critique of the world we live in, where we often have nice things, which are based on junk without realizing it.” We particularly love his bird and insect works, as well as his train track transformations, featured below.

More street art posts here and here and here.

Via and Instagram

Bordalo-01 Bordalo-02 Bordalo-03 Bordalo-04 Bordalo-05 Bordalo-06 Bordalo-07 Bordalo-08 Bordalo-09 Bordalo-10 Bordalo-11 Bordalo-12 Bordalo-13 Bordalo-14 Bordalo-15 Bordalo-16 Bordalo-17 Bordalo-18 Bordalo-19 Bordalo-20 Bordalo-21 Bordalo-22 Bordalo-23

Chicago-based artist (and self-described “agitator”) Mary Ellen Croteau has a body of work that spans over two decades. Her work has always challenged the ridiculousness of social norms, and her latest, constructed of non-recycled plastic waste, is no different. Influenced by Chuck Close, Croteau arranges thousands of bottle caps in their original color and size to reveal incredible compositions. But it’s not enough to be drawn in by the inventive repurposing of otherwise wasteful material… Croteau is looking to shake things up a bit by demonstrating the huge amounts of trash we are consuming and sending into the environment. In her own words: “I personally think that single-serve plastic bottles are a major curse on our environment, and most especially water bottles. Most of us do not need to have bottled water at hand. Getting people used to spending more money for water than they spend for a gallon of gasoline is devious and disastrous for the future of the planet, letting corporations control our water sources is evil.” More work with resourcefully repurposed materials here and here and here.


Croteau-01 Croteau-02 Croteau-03 Croteau-04 Croteau-05 Croteau-06 Croteau-07 Croteau-08 Croteau-09 Croteau-10 Croteau-11 Croteau-12 Croteau-13

Paris-based artist Benoit Jammes finally found a use for all those old audio cassette tapes he had lying around. Inspired by 1980s nostalgia, Jammes resurrected the tapes and gave them new life. Some are pop culture references, others are simply fun.


Jammes-01 Jammes-02 Jammes-03 Jammes-04 Jammes-05 Jammes-06 Jammes-07 Jammes-08 Jammes-09 Jammes-10 Jammes-11 Jammes-12 Jammes-13 Jammes-14 Jammes-15 Jammes-16

%d bloggers like this: